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Really there is no other choice.


Well its the first of may which means that we are now only a couple of weeks out from another Labor Budget and the softening up propaganda is in full swing, what with Gillard’s announcement the other day that Labor has a 12 billion dollar black hole that we the ever suffering tax payers will have to endure  a rise in the Medicare levy to fund  “Disability care” (NDIS renamed 🙄  ) we can expect a never ending barrage of tales of  woe to prepare us for a budget that will not be anywhere near as bad as expected for a couple of simple reasons.

Firstly its an election year and that means that the budget will be designed to fit in with Labor pitch to the voters for another term in power so they won’t be keen to get too many  people off side by doing much that will be unpopular, they simply don’t have the skill or the time to argue for unpopular  changes or truly new schemes so what they will be doing is trying to find way that their keynote “reforms” can have the illusion of  being possible even though much of their new schemes have thus far been very poorly designed and  even more poorly explained or justified Nothing illustrates this more than the  “Gonski” scheme which has been eulogised  by endless  teacher’s union funded ads on the TV but we still have very little idea of just what it will mean for schools and even less confidence that finding out the details of the scheme will matter because apart from Barry O Farrell proving the adage about State Premiers grabbing for pots of money at least partially correct, none of the other  states    committed themselves to Gillard’s so called “education reforms” which will mean its failure.

Then there is the way to fund the ” Disability care” scheme, to be honest having it paid for by a rise in the Medicare levy is at least somewhat consistent with the original notion of that tax  and I don’t expect that the current opposition will roll back such a change  when they get into the treasury benches either. I do however have some issue with this new scheme being rolled out at the same time as the Government (and to a lesser extent the opposition  are trying to imply that those of  the disabled  who have qualified for the DSP are all slackers or frauds. If we are honest we have to realise that the disabled as a group covers a rather wide spectrum of people with an equally wide   range of impairment the question that we as a society have to consider is  where we draw the line.  Likewise its fine to have a principle of encouraging all of the disabled who can do some work to do so but firstly there has to be some work that they can do available for them and employers who are willing to take on the burden.  Both are rather thin on the ground yet this government seems very intent upon forcing the disabled to enter the same job seeker churn that it imposes upon  receipts of  the Newstart allowance. Its fair enough for the able bodied but all the churn will do for the disabled is make them depressed and further lower their self esteem as they struggle over ever more odious bureaucratic  hurdles.  This farce is only really possible though because of the way that the public perceives disability.  To most people  a disabled person has to be either holding a white cane or in a wheel chair or they are not even seen as being disabled. However there are many conditions, MS for example, which have very few outward indicators of infirmity even though they would make meaningful (to themselves and  an employer) work  difficult if not impossible . The repeated  implication that many people who qualify as disabled are in one sense or another “scamming the system” does not help matters either because for every fraudster who is caught there are many, many   genuine claimants who have to constantly live with the suspicion or even outright accusation that they are “bunging it on”.   Its not a good look for a government who are pinning their election campaign on the hopefully positive reception to its NDIS now is it?

If this government was genuine about fixing the 12billion “black hole” then they would do a couple of simple things: Abolish the carbon tax, its associated bureaucracy and its compensation, likewise they should abolish the MRRT mining tax and the pork distribution that is predicated upon that failed tax,  If they then actually fixed the asylum seeker issue by restoring the full suite of measures that worked under Howard regime more billions could be saved… Oh,  hang on, that prescription sounds awfully like the opposition plan so maybe that is the answer after-all. We need to change the government rather than hoping that this administration  can be reformed enough for it to properly serve the nation, really there is no other choice.

Cheers Comrades


Gillard’s got to go!


  1. Craigy says:

    What really needs to happen is to abolish the subsidies for private health insurance, substantially increase the medicare levy and provide world class public health care for everybody…..If only they had the guts to take on Tony Abbott and his extreme supporters….if only…..

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Do you have private health insurance Craigy?

    Do you really think that the nation’s health care would be better under your scenario? Because I can’t see it myself. There is a simple fact and that no matter how much is spent on health it will never be enough. And the experience in the UK with their NHS suggests that vast public health facilities are often not so good at delivering top quality care to the people as lefties like your own good self imagine. We have a hybrid system here that over all seems to serve us pretty well. My experience in accessing and the pain clinic and oncology through the public system showed me that the service is adequate timely enough (not withstanding a long wait to see the former)when they thought that my condition could have been life threatening I was given an appointment very quickly indeed.My only complaint about the service is that the cost of parking is disgustingly high.

  3. Craigy says:

    No I don’t Iain, and I can’t afford it based on what it would give me at my age….I am 100% a public patient…And I am currently suffering a chronic health issue so I have first-hand experience from my just about weekly visits to various doctors. The system is not in a good state and I would be more than happy to pay much more tax to see an NDIS that works for people who need it and a fully funded public health system that looks after everyone.

    Not all public services are expensive and poorly run. Many privately run public services also cost the tax payer much more than they should and are as poorly run as the worst publicly managed services. The problem lies with the managers and the for profit needs of big corporations.

    I have a number of friends who work in the private health system in Australia who tell me how poor it is….What all health systems need is the correct level of funding. In my view medical treatment should not be for profit….It adds nothing to our care.
    Proper funding of public health and a good NDIS system would be a great start….Then deal with the poor management…. I’m happy to pay for both.

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    What really needs to happen is to abolish the subsidies for private health insurance

    Really? They’re not exactly generous. From the Aust Govt website:

    There are three tiers of Australian Government rebates:

    If you are a single earning $84 000 or less, or a family earning $168 000 or less, you will get a rebate of:
    ◦30 per cent, if the policy members are under 65 years
    ◦35 per cent, if one or more policy members is between 65 and 69 years
    ◦40 per cent, if one or more policy members are 70 years or older.
    If you are a single earning between $84 001 and $97 000, or a family earning between $168 001 and $194 000 you will get a rebate of:
    ◦20 per cent, if the policy members are under 65 years
    ◦25 per cent, if one or more policy members is between 65 and 69 years
    ◦30 per cent, if one or more policy members are 70 years or older.
    If you are a single earning between $97 001 and $130 000, or a family earning between $194 001 and $260 000 you will get a rebate of:
    ◦10 per cent, if the policy members are under 65 years
    ◦15 per cent, if one or more policy members is between 65 and 69 years
    ◦20 per cent, if one or more policy members are 70 years or older.
    If you are a single earning over $130 000 or a family earning over $260 000 you will not get a rebate regardless of age.

    We have private health insurance but, as you can see, the maximum rebate we can possibly get until we’re over 65 is 30% off the medicare levy. Big deal. The point is though, that if we are hospitalised for a serious (or even not-so-serious) illness, we are not a burden on the public health system. It actually saves you (and the rest of the public) money, Craigy.

  5. Craigy says:

    Ray, subsides for people earning the figures you quote above are a disgrace….And I am happy to pay much more tax so EVERYONE gets the same good service….Are you?

    Now I’m off to an urgent doctors appointment….wish me luck…

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    Craigy, the existing tax system provides that those who earn more already pay much higher taxes (and a much higher % rate of tax).

  7. Iain Hall says:

    they are not subsidies as much as they are tax deductions, That said I would like to know if you have any trouble getting adequate health care via the public system?

    When it comes to “Disability care” what will be covered by the scheme is far from clear , nothing I have seen or read explains in any meaningful way just what the benefits will be to the disabled. Nor has the Government addressed the perceptual questions about disability that I raise in my piece if anything the never ending suggestions that all of those on DSP are rorting the system does them no credit and to my mind undermines their arguments for the NDIS.

    Finally I do wish you good luck and good news at the doctors

  8. Iain Hall says:

    “I am very pleased that today the Leader of the Opposition has said that he is prepared to support this plan,” she said today.

    She said Mr Abbott had changed his mind and on that basis: “I will bring to the parliament the legislation to increase the Medicare levy by half a per cent.”
    Earlier today, Mr Abbott said he wanted the levy to be voted on before the September election, delivering a “monument’ to the current parliament.

    “We do want to see this come into the parliament in this term. There is five weeks of parliament remaining and I don’t see why we can’t get this dealt with so that this parliament does have a substantial monument.

    “But at the same time as getting this through the parliament, it is important that the Prime Minister come clean on all the details.

    “How is this scheme going to be fully funded? And who exactly will be covered?”

    Ms Gillard said the government was already working on the regulations that would govern the scheme.

    She declared the Medicare levy hike would fund the scheme for the next five years, but did not say how it would be funded after it became fully operational in 2019.

    So It looks most likely that Abbott will endorse the raise in the Medicare levy to cover the NDIS which is of course smart politics on a number of levels, firstly it makes the Tax rise Labor’s creature rather than an impost from an incoming Abbott government, secondly it means that Gillard will be denied the opportunity of campaigning on the claim that the coalition “does not care about the disabled” and on top of that it does go at least some of the way towards funding the scheme. As the piece I cite suggests though we are still very light on as to precisely what and more importantly whom this scheme will cover. Some how I doubt that the Gillard crew have much idea about that themselves.

  9. Ray Dixon says:

    Something doesn’t add up, Iain. The increase in the levy is one third – on all taxpayers. Yet only a very small percentage of the population are disabled. I agree, we need to know what the programs are, and why they seem to be costing so much.

  10. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s very confusing – like does this mean that all disability pensions and other disabled benefits (currently funded from general tax revenue) will, instead, be paid from that extra 0.5% levy? If so, shouldn’t that mean general tax rates should fall by a corresponding amount? And if not, then what on earth is the extra money being raised for exactly?

  11. Iain Hall says:

    My understanding is that it is to be entirely distinct from the DSP which will continue to be funded form the normal social security budget. The impression I get (and I could be totally wrong) is that its intended to fund things like buying wheel chairs and other mobility aids, as well as professional in home care and living assistance for the severely disabled, however as I tried to explain in my piece those in the most severe categories are only a small percentage of the total number of people with a disability, many disabled people are able to live independent lives even if they can’t easily do meaningful work , assuming that such work was there to be done, which is not often the case. What I suspect, if you can forgive my cynicism is that the thrust of the Gillard scheme will be to professionalise much of the caring now done by families and therefore give more power to a unionised workforce. I can’t help feeling though that the social consequences will be that the disabled will be even further alienated from the able-bodied and their families and gradually over time they will be forever in the thrall of the professional do-gooders who will end up controlling their lives and destroying any personal autonomy that they retain in the cause of political correctness.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    What’s the ‘Victory’ thing about?

    Anyway, if it’s for funding programs, services, equipment & care above & beyond what is already funded, then it seems like a hell of a lot of money. I mean, it’s one third of what we currently spend on funding normal medical care for 100% of Australians (outside private cover). I have to wonder – considering the much fewer people it is intended to assist – how that can be?

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Victory Gin was the state sponsored tipple for party members in Orwell’s 1984 so I am alluding to that totalitarian vision with the picture.

    That said I’m just as confused about it as you are on what it is really meant to do.

  14. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s typical Gillard again, Iain. She has a habit of just introducing (expensive) stuff without explaining exactly what it’s for. It’s feel-good politics – “let’s help the disabled” – and if anyone speaks up or questions it, they look bad. But all I want to know is what is it I’ll be paying for? Please – can I know?

  15. Iain Hall says:

    I want to know as well Ray

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Tony Abbott on the NDIS

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